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Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:01 AM

America Fires the Most Powerful Laser In History

The United States' National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab in California has fired the most powerful laser in history, a record-breaking 2-megajoule shot. The laser was originally designed to reach 1.875-megajoules, but beat everyone's expectations—and set a new world record in the process.
192 laser beams combined to form the single shot, initially reaching 1.875 megajoules. By the time it passed through its final focusing lens, the laser maxed out at 2.03 megajoules, making it the world's first 2-megajoule ultraviolet laser. Better yet, the blast caused less damage to the laser optics than predicted, which allowed the facility to fire another shot just 36 hours after the 2.03-megajoule one.

How it works
It all starts with a single laser, which is split into 48 separate beams. The beams are then redirected, using mirrors, into amplifiers that have been previously pumped by a total of 7,680 Xenon flash lamps. After four bounces, the beams are further split into 192 rays through all the facility—which is the size of three football fields. As they travel through those endless tubes, the beams are amplified again at an exponential rate.

The result: from a tiny 1/billionth of a joule laser, the scientists at the National Ignition Facility obtain rays "a foot on their side" with a combined "2.03 million joules of ultraviolet energy," 1,000 times the energy of all the power plants in the United States combined, even while it's only for a fraction of a second.

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http://gizmodo.com/5895276/america-fires-most-powerful-laser-in-history



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http://gizmodo.com/5895276/america-fires-most-powerful-laser-in-history

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Reply America Fires the Most Powerful Laser In History (Original post)
n2doc Mar 2012 OP
sharp_stick Mar 2012 #1
zbdent Mar 2012 #2
lastlib Mar 2012 #3
zbdent Mar 2012 #4
lastlib Mar 2012 #5
cstanleytech Mar 2012 #10
The Philosopher Mar 2012 #6
FiveGoodMen Mar 2012 #8
eppur_se_muova Mar 2012 #7
rug Mar 2012 #9

Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:09 AM

1. I've seen too many SciFi movies

this both fascinates and frightens me. But wouldn't it be cool to actually witness the final result if they manage to create a "small star".

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:22 AM

2. Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to drop Rush Limbaugh on whichever country we want eliminated?

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Response to zbdent (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:31 AM

3. Yes, but using poison gas is a war crime.....eom

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Response to lastlib (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:40 AM

4. I thought that Bush (and Obama) gave up the illusion of following the Geneva conventions ...

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Response to zbdent (Reply #4)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 10:45 AM

5. Touche....

But the hue and cry of using such a monstrous weapon would be too great to ignore.

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Response to zbdent (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 25, 2012, 11:28 PM

10. I thought weapons of ass destruction were illegal?

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Thu Mar 22, 2012, 09:48 PM

6. Does this mean we're close to a popcorn party?



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Response to The Philosopher (Reply #6)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 02:05 PM

8. Sure, genius

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 07:15 AM

7. Mitt Romney is on his way now !

He always enjoys a good firing.

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Response to n2doc (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2012, 02:45 PM

9. Iran Threatens Preemptive Strike.

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